Community rallies around victims of apartment complex fire in North Coventry Twp.

Maggie Kent Image
Friday, July 31, 2020
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People turned out to help residents of an apartment complex that was destroyed by a fire on Thursday night.

NORTH COVENTRY TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A ferocious fire ripped through a Chester County apartment complex Thursday night leaving more than 100 people without a home.

The fire started around 7:20 p.m. at the Ashwood Apartments located on the 700 block of Worth Boulevard in North Coventry Township.

"Everything I have is gone. Everything. Right down to my socks," resident Donnell Deboer said.

As Deboer spoke Friday morning, flames flared up right where her unit once stood.

Dozens of apartments at the three-story building were consumed with flames.

But also on Friday, donations were dropped off by the trunkload by members of the community.

The donated items included food, toiletries, shoes, clothing, games and toys.

So many people came out to help, the North Coventry Volunteer Fire Department asked people to donate money towards a rent fund for displaced residents instead.

Angela Drupp came to the fire station to grab a few essentials after losing everything.

"This is overwhelming and amazing. This is beautiful, the community just is overwhelming and coming through for the people in the building," said Drupp.

Kathy Scully has been a volunteer with North Coventry Fire Department for 10 years. She hasn't slept since the fire alarm sounded, overwhelmed by the outpouring from the community.

"We've got the pandemic going on, and it seems like this is first. I tear up all day long," said Kathy Scully.

At least four people sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Fire crews responded from around Chester County, and even from neighboring Delaware County, to help with water supply issues on the scene.

"If we would have had water here, like fire hydrants, that would have never went up," Deboer said.

Around 125 people have been displaced, with the Red Cross providing temporary shelter to more than a dozen families.